With no Bloomster madness to wake the boys we slept in peace until around 1000am. With no Webbo to ensure a speedy departure, Pendles remaining tigers headed off to conquer the Ansabere Aiguilles about 1pm - superb, just as the heat of the day was at it's most scorching.
We knocked 1 ½ hours off the walk-in by driving hard and fast up a Bill Hicky rough track. With no puritan influence our progress was fast. A quick kit up and offski. Soon we caught our 1st glimpse of the needles. What an amazing sight, they were beauties - so sad our working chums couldn't make it, and Stevie Bloom too !
Wow !We marched on through fields of stinking cows and horses to reach a shepherd's hut now used to store horse cheese available to rent to tourists. It also had ice cold watter - just what we needed for our lunch.
Refreshed we headed up a steep scree slope to the Col de Petrageme. Griffin vultures circled our path, but we were drawn off by the sight of two mad pig-dog climbers on the North West face of the main Aiguille - the nutters. They were however very impressive and had to do at least 1000 pull ups each a day.
I made it to the col in double quick time, however Weaners legs decided that 2 weeks continuous exercise was too much and he was struggling with the incline. A yet un-named peak beckoned. I shot up it and named it Pendle Point, and what a view. It was on the France/Spain border and was fantastic. Weaner soon followed up and we basked in the sunshine overlooking the most glorious view yet.
A quick descent was followed by beers and ice creams at Lescun. Weaner was pursued by amorous mountain dogs, or mounting dogs depending on your point of view ! (no names, no pack drill )
I sweated out the remaining remnants of Stevies death rattle he had kindly left me, but not before sweating out about 30 litres of warm watter. Add that to the ever present cloud of flies, which surely endeared me to the two lovelies we past and you can tell I was on top form after 2 weeks of hard graft.
My legs were tired, but I made it to Pendle Peak, watching two maddo pig-dogs astride fresh air on some horrid climb opposite us. The peak was the biggest I had ever seen it and I enjoyed gazing on the scene below us, stretching into the distance, mountains, lush valleys, stark mountain karst moonscapes. It was the best view yet !
Whatever that feral beast had down in his room I know not. I stripped his bed linen whilst Weaner set about hovering all the debris from his pit. After several hours hard graft the gite was looking fit for habitation - by a family of pigs maybe. However we were paying big cash sums for the hicky maid to tackle the worst of it so enough was enough.
Madame Lernou arrived just after 2pm and as usual wanted to chat to us despite neither Weaner and I possessing any conversational French. I managed to inform her that the monkey was sat in the tree. We then wedged her up, thanked her for the jam and fetid goose fat pate she'd left for us, then off we went.
With time on our hands before the train we plotted a route to Pau main drag. Wow. The place was crawling with Jack & Danny action. Weaner flipped his flop when a copper casually pointed a machine gun in the direction of our car. We toured the streets drooling until the car was filled with our collective saliva. Then followed a look through town until we found the best site for a beer to watch the world and the norks go by, and they did, again and again. Feeling pleased with ourselves we also regretted not putting Bloomster on the car insurance so the boys could have enjoyed a night out in this place. Oh well next time eh !
( NOTE. Weaner and I are not actually a couple of sex beast perves, we had however just spent 2 weeks in a stinking village where we had more chance of catching rabies than copping a look at some female forms. The change of scenery in Pau was refreshing to say the least….)
Onwards to Tarbes. Ditched the hire car ok then off to everyone's favourite station Tarbes SNCF. Yep they managed to fuck us up once again. With our car back for 6pm we had 4 hrs to kill and plans for a big meal out. Only the pig-dogs had shut the left luggage lockers and we had to stag guard the huge pile of North Face bags till the train arrived. Tossers !
At Lourdes some Vietnamese type got into the cabin and demanded my TNF bags bed, so being a gentleman I jumped to the top, my TNF bag took my bed, I reluctantly gave up a pillow and a bottle of water and settled back down to sleep. Soon though, she was gone ! I knew we stank, but the window was open. So back I went to my original pit……
At the next station a dirty Frenchman and his voluptuous wench got on, took the top bunks and went to sleep. They stank of BO and garlic, but didn't bother us too much. So, again I went back to sleep………
At 3am (fucking Bordeaux) some tosser knocked on our door and told me his bed was the one I was sleeping in ! I feigned ignorance, but his English was quite good and he seemed keen on getting me thrown off the train ! What a nob. So, I moved my TNF bag over with Andy's and swapped beds for the third time that night……………
It was extra uncomfortable on the bottom bunk and extremely hot, so I got fuck all sleep and woke-up in Paris angry, sticky and tired. Bastard pig-dogs ! Christ, if we hadn't have scared that other person away, we'da been sleeping with our TNF bags ! Bloody SS.NCF must pack each cabin to the rafters to avoid cleaning/re-stocking too many, the lazy buggers !
Anyhow, got robbed by a taxi driver who demanded an extra €4 for taking our bags then had to get a Times because there were no Guardians in the Eurostar lounge. Still, breakfast was courtesy of Stevey Bloom, his cleaning money (£20!) got us a reasonable breakfast of a bacon & egg buttie, a croissant, orange juice and a cup of tea. Well done Stevie, you lazy, lazy man ! There was also enough left to get sandwiches for the way home !
Arrived home at 1300hrs, got a taxi to the front door and inspected my new blisters thanks to my huge TNF bag. Aileen wondered how I had carried it across London !
Until next year………… Tigers ho !